Former India opener Virender Sehwag has expressed his desire to see a bowler leading Indian national cricket team after Virat Kohli. Sehwag, who will continue to act as the director and mentor of Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018, made this point during a press conference in Mohali on Friday.
In their first match of the 11th edition of Indian Premier League, KXIP will take on Delhi Daredevils at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali on Sunday (April 8). India’s seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been shouldered with the responsibility to lead the Punjab-based franchise.
"I have played with him [Ashwin] and I know the kind of mindset he has. He is the right choice to be captain of Punjab team,” Sehwag told PTI.
"I am a great fan of a bowling captain. I watched Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram as captains. In India generally you don't give captaincy to bowlers, but hopefully after Virat (Kohli) some bowler will become the captain (of national team)," he added.
Earlier, the KXIP sides used to be lacking the quality Indian players but this time there is a number of top-notch domestic players in the squad. No wonder, Sehwag is optimistic about Punjab’s chances this year.
"We have the best team, if I compare last ten years. The team is a balanced one with right mix of Indian and foreign players. We have a set of players who believe in dealing in sixes and boundaries, they don't believe in singles," Viru asserted.
Kings XI Punjab haven’t performed to their potential in the cash-rich Indian Premier League thus far. In the 10-year long history of the tournament, KXIP have qualified only twice in the playoffs. In IPL 2018, all eyes will be on the newly appointed head coach Brad Hodge and mentor turned director of cricket Sehwag as how the duo changes the fortune of the side.
"I make sure that everybody is comfortable and that they get their own space and do whatever they want to do, which later helps them in giving their 100 per cent. Off the field, we are very cool, we make sure that our colleagues laugh and crack jokes," Sehwag concluded.
KXIP Squad For IPL 2018:
Axar Patel (retained 12.5 Cr), R Ashwin (7.6 Cr), Yuvraj Singh (2 Cr), Karun Nair (5.6 Cr), KL Rahul (11 Cr), David Miller (3 Cr), Aaron Finch (6.2 Cr), Marcus Stoinis (6.2 Cr), Mayank Agarwal (1 Cr), Ankit Rajpoot (3 Cr), Manoj Tiwary (1 Cr), Mohit Sharma (2.4 Cr RTM), Mujeeb Zadran (4 Cr), Barinder Sran (2.2 Cr), Andrew Tye (7.2 Cr), Akshdeep Nath (1 Cr), Ben Dwarshius (1.4 Cr), Pardeep Sahu (20L), Mayank Dagar (20L), Chris Gayle (2 Cr), Manzoor Dar (20 L).